Not all those who wander are lost?

A verse from one of J.R.R. Tolkien’s poems, but what does it mean exactly? Or rather, what does it mean to me? Why name my blog using this particular verse? 
It gives me hope and describes me well, that’s all. I wander, frequently. I wander from my own plans, my own personal values and moral code, I stray. Do I ever break the rules I have set myself? Yes. Do I ever completely abandon my own moral code? No. 
Sometimes, for curiosity’s sake, I stray from my own plans. I agree to things that I haven’t thoroughly thought out yet, I let myself act in a fluid manner, just go with what my mind decides to suggest without analysing every possibility first. Try new things, try a different lifestyle just to make sure I have chosen the right path and have made the right plans for myself. We may think we know ourselves, but it is such a lengthy and challenging process to truly understand oneself that it is quite impossible to fully know yourself by the age of 19. 
Explore, wander, create new challenges for yourself, yet never lose yourself. That is what I hold on to. That everyone can experiment with emotions and relationships and their personality, yet never lose themselves. Deep down you will always be the person you are, your first instinct will always be what it has been (emotionally speaking). Yet to find out who we truly are, we need to dig deep because sometimes we are hidden even from our own consciousness. So straying from routine, wandering and trying out new things (be they material things or emotional and psychological things) without losing ourselves, is definitely the way to go. 

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Sacrifice and Success.

All of us have goals. We have all envisioned a future version of ourselves, a specific scenario that brings us satisfaction and helps motivate us to keep trudging through the present. Some of us may lean toward being career driven individuals whereas others place more importance on family and friendships and most of us find ourselves in a grey area, not knowing whether to dedicate more time to one or the other. It all boils down to diversity.
Whatever comes first, one question that we must all dedicate some time to find an answer to is – how far am I willing to go? How determined am I to make that vision a reality?
Would you sacrifice your social life and the possibility of a family for a successful time-consuming career that you are passionate about? Would you instead forfeit a successful career that you love, to dedicate time to the most important relationships in your life? Or would you instead try to do it all ?
Sounds inviting doesn’t it, to do it all, have it all; have both a happy family or strong friendships and success at a career you always dreamed about, but how likely is it? How likely is it that you manage to go the extra mile and excel at work whilst dedicating enough time and undivided attention to people who have become irreplaceable to you?
It is important to dedicate enough time to answer questions like these before making future plans that require time and considerable effort. Think ahead. Make sure you are ready to commit and sacrifice what need be sacrificed to make your envisioned future a reality. How much do you want it? Are you determined to do whatever it takes?

Regret

Regret is defined as a feeling of sadness or disappointment. Six words. Are six words enough to accurately define regret?
I think not. Regret eats away at you, leaving nothing else, if you let it. Every minute of your day can be taken up by thoughts regarding what you’d have rather done or how differently you could have handled a situation. It can leave you feeling empty, ashamed and disappointed in yourself. Regret can stop you from moving on and progressing in life. Leave you at a standstill. Even make you want to do the unthinkable.

Yet what’s done is done and as many people will tell you, there’s no use crying over spilt milk. So what can you do? You can channel all that pain and remorse toward making it better. Making it up to the ones you’ve hurt, improving yourself, learning from your mistakes.
After all, we are all human, we’re flawed and we make mistakes. The difference between those who find happiness again and those who are unable to progress is repentance. Express your sorrow at your mistakes, apologise to the ones you’ve hurt and to yourself, let it out, but once you have, make it a point to move on. Do not dwell on the past. Let your mistakes lead you to being a better person.
The best way to make it up to people you’ve wronged, besides apologising profusely, is to show them that you have learnt from your mistakes and that you are ready to move on as a better person.

Summer bucket-list?

The reason why most of us look forward to the summer months is ‘freedom’. Being able to carry out whatever spontaneous idea comes to mind without being restricted by stringent time constraints or deadlines.
So it is only reasonable to question whether planning your days in detail actually counteracts this eagerly awaited sense of freedom.
Is a bucket-list a good idea or not?
Planning your summer to the very last detail may well be detrimental to the idea of relaxation. Constantly having a task to finish, albeit successful at preventing the development of an overly-apathetic attitude, does not allow proper relaxation of a carefree nature.
Although compiling a summer bucket-list may be a good brainstorming process, it should only be considered loosely, as a source of ideas, not a strict list that must be finished by some pre-defined deadline; otherwise the whole idea of relaxation is shattered.

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”

Came across the above quote by Oscar Wilde recently and it got me thinking; do we really have the opportunity to be ourselves or are we simply controlled and guided by society? Are we being lulled into a false sense of individuality, when in reality we’re just another brick in the wall?
Every thought, every idea, every decision is unknowingly a product of the environment, culture and society we were brought up in. From the moment we were young naive toddlers, ready to experience the world in all it’s entirety, we were being unknowingly influenced and moulded by everything around us; we are a product of society.
The key to truly developing individuality is to make a conscious effort to, as Athenian philosopher Socrates exclaimed, know thyself. The only way we can completely break free from the shackles of a mainstream mindset is to constantly question ourselves as well as our motives. It is essential to be independent in the sense that one can form an opinion without being heavily influenced by anyone or anything else. Which is exactly why taking some time off to sort out your thoughts is sometimes crucial, not only to solve that present dilemma but also to learn something about yourself.

Until we learn to think independently and analyse situations from every possible aspect we will forever be tempted to unquestionably accept our initial reaction. It is only upon further contemplation that we arrive at our opinion. Being yourself is something you must work at. So think. Question. Analyse.

A key note about trust

Funny thing trust, takes a long time to form completely but can be torn apart in the blink of an eye. 
Have you ever wondered why most relationships that suffer a terrible falling out never seem to feel the same again? How, even though you try your utmost, you can never completely trust an individual or open yourself up to them, after they have betrayed your trust? 

Experience has led me to the conclusion that once that key component of a friendship or a relationship is lost, it can never be regained again, not as it once was. Indeed, it is no secret that once a person has let you down or betrayed you in the most unthinkable of ways it is almost impossible to let them in again; innumerable doubts start to flood your mind, making you question almost every aspect about the other individual. 
Does this mean however that the element of trust in a friendship cannot be put up to the test? 
Quit the contrary, it can be safely tested in a multitude of ways without negative repercussions; in so doing further strengthening the ties of said friendship. 

Breaking the ice

Procrastination. It is the reason i’m writing this, the reason this blog was created and the reason my grades no longer accurately reflect my potential.

As Bertrand Russell famously stated: time you enjoy wasting is not wasted. Indeed, but where should one draw the line? It’s all well and good to take some time to yourself and find a way to relieve all the stress that’s been building; it may help integrate information and keep you focused. The problem arises when we are no longer in sight of our goal, when we find ourselves devoid of all motivation, when all that seems to matter is watching that next episode, finishing that book or doing anything but grab that stack of papers and continue. What then? 
Technology definitely doesn’t help, with all it’s advantages and benefits it is a world full of wonderfully enticing distractions that always seem to get in the way of what truly matters. 
Albeit worrisome, I personally believe this is not the reason for procrastination, merely the means by which it is achieved. Perhaps the reason is hidden in plain sight, something we are involuntarily influenced by, the moment we develop a sense of consciousness: instant gratification. 
In today’s world it isn’t that difficult to obtain whatever object we desire in an instant, we are brought up to believe that the best way is the shortest: find the easiest, quickest way to get what you want and you’ve hit the jackpot. This mentality and way of life however, has in my opinion, gradually led to the development of apathetic, indifferent individuals who show a lack of resilience and seem to care solely about their short-term happiness. 
The idea that short-term happiness is what matters most, compiled with all the distractions we have at our disposal have definitely led to a lot of time-wasting. Lack of motivation however remains a serious and ever-present problem that I believe needs to be tackled at a young age by the education system.